Space backgrounds

General discussion about anything related to Transcendence.
george moromisato
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Sun Mar 01, 2015 11:15 pm

PM wrote:I have a mod that destroys ore-bearing asteroids after they have been mined, which was why I asked the question of object destruction. I have also considered a mod that adds a planet-killer like the Death Star, either as an enemy (you need to stop it before it destroys planets) or a godmod (because blowing up planets is fun).
I've preemptively opened a bug for this: https://ministry.kronosaur.com/record.hexm?id=706

Turns out it's a little harder than I thought because I can't just erase the shadow from the object. I also have to re-draw any other shadows from objects in the area.

Watch TV, Do Nothing
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Mon Mar 02, 2015 6:56 pm

george moromisato wrote:
Watch TV, Do Nothing wrote:This is great! Will you be addressing the shade stepping issue near stars? Right now it seems like bands of colors are produced that are alternately slightly redder or greener, creating an exaggerated stripe pattern.
Yes--this is addressed by implementing 24-bit color. There's still a tiny bit of banding, but there are no more color artifacts.
Awesome!

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JohnBWatson
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Thu Mar 05, 2015 8:12 pm

I just finished running through the game with Parallax worlds, and having the planets take up part of the background and not block shots really did improve gameplay. It doesn't really have to be incompatible with the new shadow effects, actually - indeed, shadows could distinguish celestial bodies in the foreground (such as asteroids) from those in the background.

I also bring this up because it might be a bit strange to see a planet casting a shadow, given the logarithmic scale of the game.

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Sat Mar 07, 2015 3:08 pm

(This would take a kack of a lot of coding, but...) it would be neat if one could power down, hide in the shadow and ambush an enemy. And get ambushed by the... enemy... hmm, never mind. :roll: But if a ship was powered down it shouldn't show on scans, unless the scan was for metal masses... in which case asteroids would show as ships. In theory (in the game world theory that is) if a ship shut down power output and hid in the shadow of an asteroid it should be able to ambush enemies.

In the real world theory though, it would take a lot more programming than it is probably worth.

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sun1404
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Sun Mar 08, 2015 2:44 am

Even destroyed ships show up as wrecks. I guess the scanner is very advanced, scanning for mass, shape, movement, energy, whatever. Merely powering down all devices wouldn't do, since life support's still up, and you can't disable that. Even with life support down you'll likely show up as wreck.
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NMS
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Thu Mar 26, 2015 6:42 am

george moromisato wrote:
NMS wrote:
JohnBWatson wrote:Cool. I like how light is blocked by the asteroids, will this also occur with stations?
I don't. What are they casting shadows on? For there to be less light coming from those regions, the light coming from the brighter areas would have to be reflected light from the local star. But it's not - it's light from other, far away stars. I approve of objects such as asteroids, planets, and ships being dynamically lit on the side facing the star, and ships passing behind planets and asteroids being shadowed, but not of casting shadows on the background, making it look like a flat surface.
This is just a very exaggerated version of zodiacal light (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zodiacal_light)

The shadow is not on the background nebulae--in fact you should be able to see the background more clearly in the shadow of a planet or moon. Instead, the light from the star illuminates the dust on the ecliptic. This washes out the background just like light pollution washes out the sky.
I knew there was a problem with this explanation, but it took me a while to figure out what it was. The background in the screenshot is more visible in the bright areas than in the shadowed areas, when it should be the opposite. That suggests the solar glare is raising the brightness of the background, or the shadows are lowering it. Instead, the color of the background should be mixed with the color of the glare in proportion to their brightness, so the contrast and visibility of the background goes down as the glare increases. Then the shadows won't look like they're being cast on the background; the background will shine through the shadowed areas.

george moromisato
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Thu Mar 26, 2015 2:43 pm

NMS wrote: I knew there was a problem with this explanation, but it took me a while to figure out what it was. The background in the screenshot is more visible in the bright areas than in the shadowed areas, when it should be the opposite. That suggests the solar glare is raising the brightness of the background, or the shadows are lowering it. Instead, the color of the background should be mixed with the color of the glare in proportion to their brightness, so the contrast and visibility of the background goes down as the glare increases. Then the shadows won't look like they're being cast on the background; the background will shine through the shadowed areas.
Your suggested algorithm is exactly what the engine is doing: The engine doesn't draw shadows--it draws light everywhere except in the shadows. It might be hard to see in the particular image I chose. Here's a different one and perhaps it is more obvious:

Image

You'll be able to play with this live soon.

NMS
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Thu Mar 26, 2015 8:44 pm

I definitely like that screenshot better. The glare and the background seem more like separate light sources. Was there an engine change between them or is it just a different background and amount of glare?

george moromisato
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Thu Mar 26, 2015 11:25 pm

NMS wrote:I definitely like that screenshot better. The glare and the background seem more like separate light sources. Was there an engine change between them or is it just a different background and amount of glare?
It's probably the different background and glare color. The blue background and the yellow glare make a good contrast, whereas the other screenshot had a yellow-brown background and yellow glare.

But I'm glad you like this screenshot better. I think it looks better live because you can see the parallax of the background and you can see the glare fade as you go away from the star. The beta should be ready by early next week.

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Thu Mar 26, 2015 11:30 pm

That'll be nice...I'll finally be getting some free time then and I can mess around with it. Will you put out a full list of the graphical improvements/changes for 1.6 with the changelog?
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Thu Mar 26, 2015 11:40 pm

george moromisato wrote:The beta should be ready by early next week.
 Sweet! I’ll have new goodies to play with while I’m on Spring Break. Looking forward to seeing this in action. ^.^
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